American Go E-Journal

AGA Board Candidate Profiles: Eastern Region

Monday July 23, 2012

Ten candidates are running for four seats on the AGA’s Board of Directors in this year’s elections, which are now underway. All AGA chapters with two or more members can vote for the director in their region, and all full AGA members may vote for the At-Large Director. Ballots were mailed to all eligible voters in early July, and the results will be tallied and announced at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain,NC, during the first week of August. All ballots must be received by August 3.

To give members a better sense of who the candidates are, their experience and vision for the AGA, the E-Journal asked all ten to respond to a brief survey, and will publish the results over the next few days, region by region. Click here for full election details, including candidate statements in their own words.  

Eastern Region

Gurujeet Khalsa lives in Chevy Chase, MD.He first learned how to play go when he was 16 “but gave up because I had no one else to play.” After an almost 40-year hiatus “a friend of mine brought a go set to Maine where we were vacationing and rekindled my interest which has only grown over the last 5-6 years.”

An AGA 7-kyu, Khalsa says he has many favorite things about the game of go. “I like the beauty, and the non-ending depth of the game. I like the variety of interesting people that I meet who love the game. I like tournament face-to-face play and would like to see that continue in the Internet age.”

His experience as a go organizer includes directing tournaments at the NOVA Go Club and helping out at other events. “As much as I like to play myself, I know that without volunteers to organize and direct tournaments they won’t continue to happen.” He was also an Assistant Editor of the E-Journal for a year. As far as other organizational experience, Khalsa says “I have a wealth of experience in the business world that I think will be useful in serving the AGA. I’ve owned my own business, managed large projects, consulted, been an IT director, developed best-selling software products, and have had a successful career in technical sales.”

Khalsa says that the AGA’s greatest strength is “The people who love go and the commitment and passion they bring.” Asked which area the AGA most needs to improve, Khalsa says that “What volunteers do for the AGA is fantastic. I think the biggest area for improvement is harnessing that energy in a more focused and goal-directed way. Growth will solve a lot of problems. Shrinking membership has let some of the AGA focus turn inwards, sometimes acrimoniously, and this needs to be reversed.”

His top three priorities if elected to the Board would be: 1. Finding ways within the current resources and budget to remove the barriers of entry for new players so that if they become interested in go there is a better connection and path for them to move along. 2. Listening to the needs of the chapters and supporting them. 3. finding ways to make Internet go an asset that also gets people to play more face-to-face at clubs and tournaments. Finally, Khalsa urges go players and AGA members to “Come to the Go Congress and have a great time!”

Feng Yun lives in Bridgewater, NJ. She’s been playing go 37 years, 33 as a pro; she’s a 9-dan. Her favorite thing about the game is that “Go is a mirror of life.”

Feng Yun’s experience as a go organizer includes organizing tournaments, workshops and classes, and managing the Feng Yun Go School. Other relevant organizational experience includes being a former member of the China national weiqi team.

Feng Yun says that the AGA’s greatest strength is its’ potential to bring all go players in America together, and that what the AGA most needs to improve is to “Become more open and friendly.”

Her top three priorities if elected would be to remove barriers to participation, promote go through education and empower chapters. For more details, her full candidate statement is available online.

 

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